As America’s leading research universities, our members have enjoyed a productive partnership with the federal government since the middle of the 20th century. The students and research supported by this government-university partnership have produced many of the world’s greatest medical and technological advances – as well as untold millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in economic growth for the United States.
Unfortunately, our nation has lost crucial ground in recent years as many parts of this historic partnership have been neglected or harmed through federal de-prioritization of investments in research and higher education, federal inaction on important issues affecting immigration and infrastructure, and implementation of short-sighted federal policies that harm inclusion and international talent recruitment. Unless we improve access to higher education, cultivate more domestic talent, reform our immigration system to attract and retain top international talent, and invest in science and technology, we will not outcompete China and ensure that America’s global economic and scientific leadership continues.
The transition provides a unique opportunity to rebuild and reaffirm our historic partnership by expanding opportunities for Americans from all backgrounds to attend and complete college, enhancing immigration policies, safeguarding American research, and renewing investments in higher education and scientific research. The following recommendations are the most important ways we believe your administration can act during the transition to renew and strengthen the government-university partnership. These recommendations dovetail with the priorities your transition team has established regarding fighting COVID-19, promoting racial equity, fostering economic recovery, and addressing climate change.